How Do I Find A Military School for My Troubled Teenager?

Military School seems like the answer to parents desperately seeking structure, discipline, and help for their misbehaving teenagers. This is especially true if your teen is constantly in trouble or struggling to make good choices.

It’s a tough spot for a parent, when your teen is failing school, abusing substances, addicted to video games, Social Media or their mobile devices and refusing to change.  Maybe your child just lacks motivation, needs stronger discipline and structure beyond what you can provide at home. In either case, you are likely actively searching for programs to help and feeling anxious and maybe even a little desperate and frustrated.  

Parents that find themselves in this situation often start to consider military school as a possible solution.   It makes sense, y0ou remove the teen from his peers and send him to a place where discipline is fundamental. While it is true these schools have strict guidelines and discipline the fact is that military school is not the “cure” for these teenage behavioral issues. In fact, if you are dealing with an out of control teenager, he actually requires a nurturing environment that offers discipline and emotional support.

Whether your teenager needs motivation, inspiration or if he needs to learn to make better choices.  The truth is that he desperately needs to understand the consequences of his behavior and how the choices he is making now can alter his future.   It is important that the changes he makes are long-term and impactful.  To do so, he will need to deal with the underlying issues that are the root cause for the negative behaviors his expressing and his current situation. 

When a parent needs immediate intervention, military school sounds like the answer but in reality, it is not likely to be what your teenager needs.  And, you may find it difficult to find a military school that will accept your child. 

Military Schools Admission Standards 

The best military schools now are very selective. The admission standards are higher than you think. In fact, these schools want to enroll children that are interested in developing military careers or seeking to prepare for higher education at elite colleges and universities.


The mission of the highly respected military school is to prepare our future leaders. 

Therefore they require higher than average GPAs. The tuition cost is also much higher than a typical boarding school.   Be aware when searching Google you may come across a school listed as a military school but in fact, some of these are troubled teen boot camps or short-term troubled teen program.  You’ll find many of these so-called military schools are operating in  Utah.  Utahs state regulations are “troubled teen” industry-friendly.   Please do your homework and check references before choosing one of these programs. 

You Need An Alternative To A Military School 

Military school is NOT an alternative for troubled teenagers.  There are many reputable Therapeutic Boarding Schools that offer an alternative to a traditional military school.

A Therapeutic Boarding School is usually in a different state which requires your child to “go away” to a new environment, similar to a military school.  Reputable and licensed therapeutic residential programs have a robust academic environment, the experienced, trained staff and on-site or accessible mental health resources to help a child that is struggling at home.

Unfortunately, sometimes parents don’t learn the about these programs until after going through the military academy enrollment application process only to have their child rejected.  Hence, we advise you to consider teen therapeutic programs like a residential treatment center or an alternative to a military school first in order to help your child. 

Even if your child is accepted, we often see these children attend a military school instead of a teen therapeutic program often to return home after an academic failure or worse being expulsed because of their social or behavioral issues. The experience ends up making the teen more bitter, defiant and angrier.  

How To Choose A  Therapeutic School

If your teenager is diagnosed with psychological, learning disabilities or other mental health issues look for a therapeutic boarding school that has licensed and experienced personnel. Look for schools that offer support groups, have on-site behavioral counselors, will work with your family to ensure your child has access to higher level medical care if needed. Choose a school that offers addiction treatment, therapy, discipline, outdoor activities, and sports as well as strong academics.

If your child is making your home unsafe, causing disruption or hurting himself and therapy or counseling failed. Contact a School Admission Counselor or contact an Independent Educational Consultant to help you find a therapeutic program that is the right fit for your child.

The most successful schools offer highly structured environments, encouraging teens to earn privileges, develop self-esteem while learning to manage their feelings and emotions leading to better self-control and emotional growth.  These schools also offer academic curriculums that are personalized to
help your child get back on track.

When speaking to a school admissions counselor make sure to ask about school accreditation, therapies offered, and extracurricular activities.  We encourage you to understand all of your options before making a costly decision that will bear little result or could be even more traumatic for your family.

To learn more about our school and see if it can be a fit for your specific situation, we invite you to contact us.